Cardinal Carlo Caffarra died © Paul Haring (KNA)
The Italian city of Bologna and the Vatican mourn the death of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra. The former archbishop of Bologna died Wednesday at the age of 79. The funeral Mass is to be held Saturday at Bologna Cathedral.
The Pontifical Academy for Life, of which Caffarra was an honorary member, paid tribute to the cardinal in the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano for his "passionate search for truth and his service to human life and the spread of the Gospel". Bologna's mayor Virginio Merola told the Italian daily "La Repubblica": "Bologna has had a great archbishop in Caffarra, we all remember him with attachment and gratitude."
Twelve years as archbishop of Bologna
According to the newspaper, Caffarra died Wednesday morning. He served as archbishop of Bologna for twelve years and had been ill for some time. The cardinal had recently attracted attention as a critic of the pope's letter "Amoris laetitia". Since Caffarra's death, the College of Cardinals still has 221 members. Of those, 120 are younger than 80 and thus would be eligible to vote in a papal election.
Bologna Mayor Merola acknowledged occasional disagreements with the cardinal on ies such as same-sex partnerships, which Caffarra had deemed "immoral". However, there has always been "deep respect for the different roles," it said. Other regional politicians praised the cardinal as an "attentive and clear-sighted intellectual" and a "shepherd who loved his flock". Accusations by media accusing the cardinal of "alleged antagonism to the pope" were nothing compared to his "testimony of unity with the See of Peter".
Funeral Mass in the Cathedral of Bologna
The Archdiocese of Bologna announced the funeral Mass presided by Archbishop Matteo Maria Zuppi for Saturday in Bologna Cathedral. The cardinal's body is to be laid out at the archdiocesan ordinariate beginning Thursday afternoon.
The pope elected on 1. Born June 1938 in the northern Italian province of Parma, Caffarra was considered an expert on theological ies related to marriage and the family; his doctoral dissertation in canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University dealt with Catholic doctrine on marriage. In 1981, Pope John Paul II commissioned him. (1978-2005) to found the pontifical institute "John Paul II".", which deals with ies related to marriage and the family. Caffarra took a critical view of Pope Francis' 2016 letter "Amoris laetitia" on the subject – alongside the recently deceased Cardinal Joachim Meisner and Cardinals Raymond Leo Burke and Walter Brandmuller, he signed five questions ("dubia") about it to the pope.
Caffarra was ordained a priest in 1961; Pope John Paul II. Appointed him archbishop of Ferrara-Comacchio in 1995. Benedict XVI. (2005-2013) appointed Caffarra a cardinal in 2006.